He played it about as well as you could play it.
Pointing out that you have to "multitask" as president, that there are a lot of things going on right now but the debate wasn't just politics. It's a matter of importance so people can determine who should inherit The New Great Depression come November.
Barack Obama was so calm, so collected, so nonchalant it seemed odd. The other guy is whooping and flailing about trying to get my attention. How is it the new, young, upstart guy seems more solid and stable than the older, been-around-forever guy? Isn't being unpredictable and brash a character trait of irrational youth? It wasn't Murtagh firing a loaded gun in a police station in the first Lethal Weapon, that was Riggs, the young, suicidal/homicidal cop with nothing to lose. And John McCain may be able to get as drunk as Mel Gibson now, but he's not as young as Mel Gibson was when he played Riggs.
Is this because he's the black guy? I realize that black people in positions of power can't afford to ever look angered, bothered, stressed or crazy. Only recently did Obama start channeling some Muhammad Ali, laying some punches and jabs on McCain's erratic, panicky, not-presidential-at-all behavior.
McCain's response to the crisis: "How can I hijack the narrative and make this all about me again? Oh, right. I can't debate Barack on Friday because WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!"
Obama's response to McCain's crisis: "We both have planes with big logos painted on them that will take us wherever we need to go."
I half expected him to order a martini after than pithy comment.
Or shoot a three pointer. You can never tell. He has the same too cool for school aura around him no matter what's going on.
Some have criticized it, calling it "aloofness." I just think the man doesn't panic. Take my mother. You cannot make Mama Snob panic. She just doesn't do that. Things get crazy she just takes over so naturally and so effortlessly that you go from being stressed out to blissfully unconscious in a matter of minutes. The woman is gifted. I once almost choked on a catfish bone at dinner when I was five. She had the frame of mind to pick me up from the dining room table, carry me to the bathroom and give me the Heimlich over the toilet.
She then wiped my face and calmly asked me if I was OK and if I'd like to go back and finish my dinner.
Ice cubes. The woman is made of ice cubes. If she hadn't been born black, female and poor in the segregated South she could have been a surgeon or captain of a bomb squad or a CIA agent.
She ended up teaching junior high, which is almost the same thing.
But if Barack is ANYTHING like my "cool heads always prevail" mother and if I've learned anything from this campaign, when Barack starts freaking out it's time to move to Canada.